This time it’s a blue baby and I’ve chosen a lovely little tank top. A simple, but elegant pattern, and one that I’m looking forward to starting. So off we trot to the yarn shop, the highlight of any toddler’s day (trapped in his buggy as he is, and forbidden from eating or drinking anything for fear of contaminating the yarn). Forever generous in nature (!), I like to spread my yarn pennies around my favourite yarn shops, but I remember, too late, that this particular haven-of-delights doesn’t sell the specific brand of yarn I need. But panic not. I’ve knit from this book before with yarn from this same shop so I know that substitution is not only possible but wholly successful. Only, at this precise moment in time, I can’t quite remember the yarn I used. Bother not bringing my “Knit Book”.
So, I ask for help. Ever-so-Helpful-and-Experienced-and-Very-Friendly-Yarn-Lady isn’t there (which is a shame on many accounts, and not least as I do so enjoy catching-up with her) so I ask one of her colleagues. But it's not going to be straight-forward, for as keen as she is to help, I'm not sure that she can. Okay, so it starts off well enough: She takes the tension measurements of the original yarn to find a suitable alternative (Ever-so-Helpful Lady would have been able to do this off the top of her head but allowances have to be made for less-able members of the knitting race (myself very much included)). Returns from her “research” with a single suggestion: Kid Silk Haze. Really? For a baby pattern? For a baby pattern using an approximate 6 ply yarn? I'm not an expert but I don't think so. Perhaps even Son can sense that this isn't the most logical suggestion, and starts to get restless in his buggy. (Shopping with Son needs to be a speedy experience so that we can both remain calm but also snack-time is fast approaching so the clock is now ticking rather loudly.)
Time for action: Son is planted in the middle of the shop as far away from the yarn as is humanly possible and issued with a biscuit. I steer lady-surprised-at-my-polite-rejection-of-her-suggestion away from the luxury yarn to the baby section where I find an alternative and calculate the appropriate number of balls needed. Son politely but firmly informs me that he has eaten his biscuit and that his appetite is not yet satisfied (there might also have been a hint of “and wait until I tell Daddy why I was so malnourished today”). A second is issued while I scan the available colours: These are limited to those traditional baby colours and I select a fairly neutral, go-with-anything shade, very similar in colour to that of the biscuit being wolfed down by Son. But of which there are only two of the required three balls on display. At this time, I should have perhaps re-thought my decision (after all, white / blue is also fine), but I didn’t. We check our stock: There are, indeed, other balls of said yarn and yes, I have another biscuit. Though unlike the yarn, after this, the biscuit box is empty. New yarn is located. Final biscuit is issued. A Rich Tea to pay and get out of the shop before Round Two of “I’m hungry” starts.
I suspect all are relieved when we leave. After repeated assurances of the biscuit deficiency, Son reluctantly accepts the only alternative I can offer of an apple (sweet, yes, but very messy and not what he had his designs on). We quietly, yet speedily, head home, both our needs met, but neither of us feeling particularly satisfied with the end results.
A few hours later, Son has eaten his full and is enjoying his afternoon siesta and I have cast-on. Despite our little hiccups in getting here, we are both happy and all is right with the world. And if I can be forgiven for not only venturing out so close to snack time to go yarn shopping AND have not brought enough of the required Son-related supplies, then of course Yarn-Lady can be forgiven for confusing her yarns. We all have our "off" days (me, more than most!) - and I am already looking forward to my next excuse to visit the yarn shop......